Space Heaters are Cold-Weather Lifesavers, but Keep Safety in Mind
By WVUA 23 News Reporter Lacey Beasley
With freezing temperatures hitting West Alabama this week, it’s important to keep safety in mind regarding your space heaters, generators and fireplaces.
Fire Marshall Patrick Stines said safety comes first, so being prepared is always crucial.
“We don’t want one emergency to lead to another,” said Stines. “We want everyone to be prepared. That also comes with some personal responsibility as well as how to use this type of equipment. Always be mindful of the manufacturer guidelines on how you operate this equipment, and everything will be fine.”
Do not plug space heaters into an extension cord, because they draw too much power and can cause an electrical fire. Instead, plug them directly into the wall.
In addition, make sure you keep anything flammable at least 3 feet away from the heater, including clothes, pillows or blankets.
If a fireplace hasn’t been used in several years, you’ll want your chimney inspected before loading up on firewood.
Only burn wood, because items containing plastic are harmful for the environment and may emit hazardous chemicals when burned. Always use a screen to prevent embers from entering your living space.
Generators must stay outside and must be kept at least 20 feet away from windows so exhaust won’t enter your house. Generators emit carbon monoxide, which is deadly in enclosed spaces.